apart from the shopping and the great food, there are all these problems with china stuck in my mind. when the greatness wears off, the doubts are always left behind. it happens every time. luckily, i’m about to return home to sydney in a matter of days. even though i’ll miss the shopping and the inexpensive nature of this world, i can’t wait to go back.
i really can’t imagine what it’s like to raise children here. the way i see it, the kids here lead a horrendous life. they’re also horrendous creatures. they’re spoilt and ruthless and annoying because they’re taught that they’re special and above everyone else by their evil and twisted parents who would do anything to have their children on top. children here don’t have friends because their parents don’t allow it. only adults have friends. children have classmates. the difference is that you don’t compete with and belittle your friends, whereas you do whatever it takes to get ahead of your classmates.
ten year olds have tutor until ten pm. hell, five year olds do tutoring. they start learning english when they’re ONE, and just able to speak, and they start learning musical instruments and dancing (if they happen to be female) as young as two. they take drawing lessons, singing lessons, calligraphy lessons. whatever you can think of, some child here has probably learnt it by the time they’re five.
my grandparents were bragging to me about how a preschool child they’re somehow related to won a drawing competition the other month. they spoke of it with such a normality that i was actually happy for a second. and then i realised that she was about three years old, which would mean they actually have drawing competitions for three year olds. i mean, how does a three year old compete with other three year olds? do they really nurture this competitive spirit in their children from when they’re born? it’s disgusting. i remember the last time i came back to shanghai there were ideas about exams for entering primary school, sort of like how we have exams for university. okay, so maybe your kid is slightly gifted and more knowledgable than other five year olds, and maybe you really want to be able to feel special, but honestly, how could you put your children through that? and what exactly do you gain?
i know that people here believe that one tiny step ahead means a whole better life in the real world. i understand that they want a better life for their children. but i don’t understand what they hope to achieve. i mean, they don’t really want their children to be pianists or violinists. they especially don’t want their children to be artists or dancers. they want their children to have an office job, wear something with a white collar and earn a lot of easy money. so why?
how funny is it that in western countries everyone’s complaining about that eight year olds have bras and g-strings, but no one realises what’s going on here?
i would hate to raise children here… even more than i would hate to raise children. the specimens they’ve created are missing out on their childhood. instead of playing in the sandpit they’re reciting poetry. instead of running around they’re doing math. and one day, when they look back upon their lives, they’ll realise that they never really had any enjoyment. even though they had their fill on material possessions and fanciful treats, they missed a whole lifetime of happiness; the type of happiness only innocent children can have.
and one day, when they realise it, their parents will regret trying to make their child the best. they’ll regret pushing her, pressuring her, forcing her to miss out on their childhood. and on that day, all the glory that came from being a gifted child will vanish, and they’ll be left with a sad and lonely child; a child who grew up way too fast, and couldn’t get any of her time back.